PALO, Leyte --- The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Region VIII, in partnership with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) and local government units (LGUs), has launched the abaca-coconut intercropping project in the region.
Field validation of coconut farm of Mr. Gabriel Ortonero of Catubig, Northern Samar intended for the establishment of abaca under coconut project, with PCA CCDO Engr. Dominador Dula, PFO Ralph Bandal and FDO I Renato Puaso
There are 18 coconut farmers from four pilot municipalities who availed of the said intercropping program, where they were given a project package composed of free planting materials with 1,100 abaca seedlings per hectare, digger and bolo, fertilizer, insecticides, and labor cost for planting and hauling of materials from drop-off point to planting site.
To date, there are at least 21,600 abaca seedlings which have been intercropped with coconut trees in Eastern Visayas as part of the government’s intercropping program.
“We in PhilFIDA consider coconut and abaca as partnercrops, and not as mere intercrops. This pilot project aims to determine the compatibility of abaca-coconut partnercropping in Region VIII in order to prepare a large-scale planting in the near future, and to augment the income of coconut farmers by intercropping abaca,” said Joseph Salas, Senior Agriculturist of PhilFIDA Region VIII.
PCA does the monitoring and supervision on the progress and developments of the intercropping project.
The pilot project requires that coconut farmers who want to avail of the program have a minimum of one hectare and a maximum of two hectares of land, so as to give preferential attention to small coconut farmers.
The project was launched on October 15 through a distribution of abaca planting materials in Lombog Village, Hinunangan, Southern Leyte. ### (PCA VIII)